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Two years ago I wrote about a shell script that I used with cron to keep 'critical' applications running. Some of the commenters suggested that I "should" be using launchd. There are times when I still prefer cron over launchd but there are two reasons why I have started using launchd more often. The first is Lingon, and the second is learning more about what launchd can do.
Lingon 3 is a US$3 app which makes writing and managing launchd plists easy. Lingon has been a 'nerd tool' for a long time. A long time ago there was a version available for free. When the Mac App Store opened, Lingon 2 was released for $US5. This naturally enraged some people who believe that software developers have the ability to feed themselves on sandwiches made from air and good feelings.
To make matters worse, Lingon ran into the new "sandboxing" restrictions for the Mac App Store.
Briefly stated, sandboxing rules now limit what any Mac App Store application can do. These restrictions are imposed by Apple for other developers, even though Apple allows its own software to do many things which aren't possible with sandboxing restrictions. If you have noticed apps leaving the Mac App Store recently, there's a good chance sandboxing is the reason. Sandboxing is a good idea, but right now it is so restrictive that it is causing more problems than it solves. Hopefully this situation will get better as Apple increases what sandboxed apps can do, but for now developers are left with little choice.
Peter Borg, Lingon's developer, was faced with a choice: either neuter Lingon 2 to fit sandboxing requirements, or release a new version of Lingon. This was a bit of a "no-win" situation that many developers are facing. Updating Lingon 2 to comply with sandboxing requirements
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